videoanimation | A Nocturnal Short Film Sojourn Through Dubai | BAQALA
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A Nocturnal Short Film Sojourn Through Dubai | BAQALA


13 Jan A Nocturnal Short Film Sojourn Through Dubai | BAQALA

Amirah Tajdin is a continent-hopping photographer and filmmaker who was born and raised in Nairobi, spent her teenage years in Dubai, and studied art at Rhodes in South Africa. She says that this geographical and cultural flux directly influences her creative work and feeds her keen love for crazy cities. She was recently invited to write and direct a short film to be screened at the street art and urban lifestyle festival Sole DXB in Dubai.

The desaturated short, Baqala, is a neon-tinged dreamy portrait of Dubai’s baqalas, or corner stores. Following three nocturnal skaters cruising the side streets and back alleys of the desert mega city, we see a very different view of Dubai. Dotted with portraits of store keepers, store fronts that drip with the remnants of a pop art reverie, the film is Amirah’s ode to bubblegum.

BAQALA from SOLE on Vimeo.

The skaters who feature in the film are all old school friends of Amirah’s, as are the Sole organisers who produced the work. Working with these familiar collaborators, Amirah says that the creative process was natural and free-flowing. “I just sipped on a cup of tea and let my imagination run wild,” she says. “I wanted to stay true to the city and nostalgia (beyond the sci-fi glam) while also having fun with the visuals and whipped up the aesthetic. Music is always an integral part of how I visualise my imagery and narrative when I write a script and concept, and I had heard this song a few weeks back and it sort of drifted back into my memory.”

Amirah says that these corner stores still exist, but says that “it’s a totally different sense of them when they’re surrounded by the world’s biggest..everything!”

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